Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal

Anadolu Efes Istanbul won a clash for all the EuroLeague glory at Belgrade's Stark Arena and got their back-to-back title by taking down Real Madrid, 58-57 (14-15, 15-19, 11-8, 18-15).

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Efes became the third team in EuroLeague history to defend the title after Olympiacos and Maccabi.

115 points combined is the lowest number of points scored in a EuroLeague final ever. For Anadolu Efes, only 5 players scored the points, including Micic (23), Pleiss (19), Larkin (10), Singleton (4), and Dunston (2).

This is the 17th occurrence when only 5 players score for a team in a EuroLeague. But the 1st time in Final Four ever. In the semifinal, only 6 players scored for Efes.

Vasilije Micic scored a triple, Chris Singleton made a dunk, and Efes took the 45-42 lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Both clubs were trading baskets but Vincent Poirier and Sergio Llull pushed their team in front (50-49) with 5 minutes to go.

Tibor Pleiss scored four points in a row and continued the roller-coaster ride in the final (53-50), while Gabriel Deck tied the game at 53 with 2:30 to play. Vasilije Micic converted from deep and gave Efes a 3-point advantage (56-53). Fabien Causeur answered with one shot from the line on the other end (54-56).

Walter Tavares grabbed an offensive board and poured in another one (55-56) but Tibor Pleiss said his word once more (58-55). Nevertheless, Sergio Llull scored a duo (57-58) with 45 seconds left on the clock.

Real used two team fouls but then decided not to foul and the game ended with Shane Larkin's miss, as both clubs were fighting for the ball under Real's basket.

Micic led the scoring race with 23 points (4/8 2PT, 4/7 3PT, 3/4 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 turnovers, and 22 PIR.

Player of the Game
Tibor  Pleiss
EFF
24
Tibor Pleiss
Points 19
Accuracy 8-10
Rebounds 7
Assists 0

He claimed the Final Four MVP award for the second straight year.

"This one feels amazing. I am speechless," he said after receiving the MVP award from EuroLeague legend Vassilis Spanoulis. "These achievements will stay with me all my life. This would be impossible without my teammates. Four amazing years together, two titles. Team results are more important."

Pleiss added 19 points (7/8 2PT, 1/2 3PT, 2/2 FT), 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 blocks, and 24 PIR.

"It's incredible. As a kid, I always looked up to the two teams that played the Final Four and now I've won it back to back, it's incredible. I'm full of emotions, I'm tired, but I'm so happy it's incredible, I have no words for it. This team worked so hard for the title, we had a lot of ups and downs this season and we ended up now with a title again, one year later, incredible," Pleiss did not hide his joy after the final.

Walter Tavares was dominant under the baskets, finishing the duel with a double-double. He accumulated 14 points (5/8 2PT, 4/6 FT), 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, and 20 PIR.

"Of course, I'm happy with the way we played, congratulations to Efes for the win, it was a great final. On a do or die, probably on my mind is gonna be the last play: should we foul, shouldn't we foul? We didn't get the rebound. I think if we had got the rebound we could have had the last shot, but we couldn't get a clean rebound…well, congratulations Efes," Pablo Laso spoke post-game.

Walter Tavares was on a mission in the first quarter. He scored 12 points and Real Madrid were up 15-14 against Anadolu Efes. The big man from Cabo Verde also had 7 rebounds and 17 PIR.

Vasilije Micic and Shane Larkin kept Efes alive in the first half, combining for 23 points (9/19 FG). The rest of the Turkish squad had 6 points, while the reigning champs were down against Real 29-34 at the half.

Powered by Tibor Pleiss' 7 points and a 7-0 spurt in the third tally, Efes came back from a 9-point deficit (31-40) and had minus two (40-42) before the last 10 minutes of the match.

Anadolu Efes: Vasilije Micic 23, Tibor Pleiss 19 (7 REB), Shane Larkin 10 (6 REB).

Real: Walter Tavares 14 (11 REB), Sergio Llull 9 (6 AST), Anthony Randolph 6.

Highlights:

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Real Madrid
Anadolu Efes Istanbul
30%
20/67
Field goals
41%
23/56
40
Rebounds
44
14
Assists
7
6
Steals
5
3
Blocks
3
20
Fouls
16

Best players

Walter  Tavares
14 PTS
5/8 FG
4/6 FT
Vasilije  Micic
23 PTS
8/15 FG
3/4 FT
Walter  Tavares
11 REB
3 DREB
8 OREB
Elijah  Bryant
8 REB
5 DREB
3 OREB
Sergio  Llull
6 As
0 TO
22 MIN
Shane  Larkin
4 As
1 TO
37 MIN
Walter  Tavares
20 EFF
63% 2P%
- 3P%
Tibor  Pleiss
24 EFF
88% 2P%
50% 3P%